Ahmadabad-based Sun Electro Gravures is a specialist in manufacturing rotogravure electronic cylinders for packaging printing applications. It supplies these to major printers and converters across India. Almost all of the company’s customers are flexible packaging converters who supply packaging materials to the fast-moving consumer goods brands.
About a year ago, the company bought two Ohio engravers, including an Ohio Prism model with a hybrid engraving system. Cylinder producers who want to improve the quality of cylinder engraving without sacrificing productivity can achieve this with the Ohio hybrid engraving system. Linework and halftone work can be engraved on the same cylinder in a single operation, saving time and improving cylinder throughput. With hybrid-engraved cylinders, the printed results are superior.
“The hybrid system is the biggest advantage of the latest Ohio Prism engraver that we bought last year. This technology offers better sharpness and better ink transfer. Hybrid has been instrumental in solving reproduction issues that we earlier had with small-sized text,” says Najil Shaikh of Sun Electro Gravures. “Also, the Vision 3 engraver head engraves standard flexible packaging and decorative images at speeds up to 8,600 cells per second. Overall, the Hybrid technology offers better quality than the traditional method,” says Najil Shaikh of Sun Electro Gravures.
The Hybrid system is unique in how cells are created on the cylinder. While the Hybrid’s cells are like traditional cells, they are formed by a unique algorithm that controls their size, shape, and placement. Hybrid engraving combines the benefits of electro-mechanical engraving and chemical etching. It can place cells off the grid used in traditional electro-mechanical (EM) engraving to provide sharper edges to fine text. At present, Ohio’s Hybrid technology is the closest technology to laser engraving for producing sharp line work and fine text that can print easily. Ohio’s Hybrid tech is a winner of the prestigious international Golden Cylinder award for technology.
The Hybrid cells produce traditional diamond shapes, with cell depths that allow for good ink coverage with the predictable ink transfer of traditional engraving – but with a much higher print quality result. “It has been more than a year since we have been using the Ohio Prism, and we have got very, very good results,” adds Shaikh.
With an installed capacity of 4,500 cylinders a month, the company produces about 3,500 cylinders every month. With the addition of the latest Ohio Prism, Sun Electro Gravures now has eight engraving machines. It has six Hell engravers and two from Ohio.
Poised for growth and exports
Sun Electro Gravures business has seen an acceptable performance in the current financial year. The flexible packaging demand in the FMCG segment has remained strong in the pandemic and perhaps because of it. The company’s operations were impacted during the early months of the initial lockdown but subsequently recovered quite sharply. Shaikh expects the cylinder demand in the coming months to be robust.
“Because of the strong performance in the FMCG segment during and after the lockdown, our operations were not severely affected. We managed to eke out a decent result in the current financial year. In the coming financial year, we expect to see strong growth,” Shaikh says. Sun Electro Gravures does not currently export its cylinders, but it plans to enter the overseas market.
“Till now, we have been completely focused on the Indian market, which will continue to be our main growth engine. However, we are now also focusing on exports. We will very soon venture into the export market and hope that this segment will also witness robust growth as we advance,” Shaikh says.
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